Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) wants to increase literacy in the Columbia Valley, and are embarking on the alliance’s 20th annual Books For Kids campaign. (CBAL photo)

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) wants to increase literacy in the Columbia Valley, and are embarking on the alliance’s 20th annual Books For Kids campaign. (CBAL photo)

Books for Kids kicks off in October

The fundraiser helps bring literacy programming to the Columbia Valley

Books for Kids, a fundraising campaign run by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), is back for its 20th edition, offering up a chance for people to help bring up literacy in the valley.

CBAL is a not-for-profit organization that develops and delivers literacy programs and services for families, children, youth, adults and seniors across the Columbia Valley.

CBAL is funded through a variety of local, regional, provincial and federal grants. Money raised during this campaign helps every local CBAL team focus on specific literacy and learning needs in their community.

“The literacy funds received during the campaign remain in the communities they are raised in,” said Desneiges Profili, executive director of CBAL.

“Without these funds, some of our programs would not be possible. Supporters can be confident that the money they spend or donate is being used in meaningful ways in our communities.”

Since 2010, the Basin and Boundary-wide campaign has raised more than $100,000 to support family literacy programs. Last year, more than 6,000 books and materials were distributed in communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary.

In British Columbia, more than 700,000 people have significant challenges with literacy, according to the most recent Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey.

The survey showed that 45 per cent of British Columbians between 16 and 65 have difficulties understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals or reading health information. Basic math, like calculating interest on a car loan, or determining a dosage of medicine, is difficult for 52 per cent of British Columbians of the same age group.

Running for the month of October, Books for Kids is held in partnership with Black Press, the Columbia Valley Pioneer, The Goat Newspaper, Blue Sky Clothing Company and local credit unions.

Donations can be made anytime online at cbal.org. Blue Sky Clothing socks are available through local Community Literacy Outreach Coordinators. T-shirts can be purchased online Oct. 12-26 and Nov. 16-30.

For more information go to cbal.org/books4kids.

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